Cell division and migration in a 'genotype' for neural networks

Cangelosi, Angelo and Parisi, Domenico and Nolfi, Stefano (1994) Cell division and migration in a 'genotype' for neural networks. [Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)]

Full text available as:



Much research has been dedicated recently to applying genetic algorithms to populations of neural networks. However, while in real organisms the inherited genotype maps in complex ways into the resulting phenotype, in most of this research the development process that creates the individual phenotype is ignored. In this paper we present a model of neural development which includes cell division and cell migration in addition to axonal growth and branching. This reflects, in a very simplified way, what happens in the ontogeny of real organisms. The development process of our artificial organisms shows successive phases of functional differentiation and specialization. In addition, we find that mutations that affect different phases of development have very different evolutionary consequences. A single change in the early stages of cell division/migration can have huge effects on the phenotype while changes in later stages have usually a less drammatic impact. Sometimes changes that affect the first developental stages may be retained producing sudden changes in evolutionary history.

Item Type:Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)
Keywords:neural networks, artificial life, genotype-phenotype mapping, modularity, neural development
Subjects:Biology > Evolution
Neuroscience > Computational Neuroscience
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Computer Science > Neural Nets
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:2025
Deposited By:Cangelosi, Professor Angelo
Deposited On:11 Jan 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Belew R K 1993 Interposing an ontogenetic model between genetic algorithms and neural

networks Advances in Neural Information Processing (NIPS5) ed J Cowan (San

Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann)

Cecconi F and Parisi D 1993 Neural networks with motivational units From Animals to

Animats 2: Proceedings Second Intl. Conf. on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior eds J

Meyer H L Roitblat and S W Wilson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Bradford Books)

Dawkins R 1986 The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton & Cooper)

Eigen M 1993 Viral quasispecies Scientific American 269 32-39

Gould S J 1991 Exaptation: a crucial tool for an evolutionary psychology Journal of Social

Issues 3 43-65

Gruau F 1993 Genetic synthesis of modular neural networks Proceedings Fifth Intl. Conf. on

Genetic Algorithms(San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann)

Gruau F 1994 Genetic Micro Programming of Neural Networks Advances in Genetic

Programming ed K E Kinnear (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Bradford Books)

Harp S, Samad T and Guha A 1989 Toward the genetic synthesis of neural networks

Proceedings Third Intl. Conf. on Genetic Algorithms (San Mateo, CA: Morgan


Kitano H 1990. Designing neural networks using genetic algorithms with graph generation

system Complex Systems 4 461-476.

Langton C G 1992 Artificial Life Lectures in Complex Systems eds L Nadel and D Stein

(Reading, MA: Addison Wesley)

Lindenmayer A and Rozenberg G 1976 Automata, Languages, Development (North-Holland,


Miglino O, Nolfi S and Parisi D in press Discontinuity in evolution: how different levels of

organization imply pre-adaptation Plastic Individuals in Evolving Populations eds R K

Belew and M Mitchell (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, SFI Series)

Miller G F, Todd P M and Hedge S U 1989 Designing neural networks using genetic

algorithms Proceedings Third Intl. Conf. on Genetic Algorithms (San Mateo, CA:

Morgan Kaufmann)

Nolfi S and Parisi D 1992 Growing Neural Networks Technical Report (Institute of

Psychology, CNR Rome)

Nolfi S and Parisi D in press Genotypes for neural networks The Handbook of Brain Theory

and Neural Networks ed M A Arbib (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Bradford Books)

Parisi D, Cecconi F and Nolfi S 1990 Econets: neural networks that learn in an environment

Network 1 149-168.

Purves D and Lichtheim J W 1985 Principles of Neural Development (Sunderland, MA:

Sinauer Ass.)

Schacher S 1985 Determination and differentiation in neural system development Principles

of Neurosciences eds E R Kandel and J H Schwartz (New York: Esevier Science)

Wilson S W 1987 The genetic algorithm and biological development Proceedings Second

Intl. Conf. on Genetic Algorithms. (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum)

Yao X 1993 Evolutionary artificial neural networks International Journal of Neural Systems 4



Repository Staff Only: item control page